Liberties Poets Take: Towards a Verbal Pedagogy of Revolt

  • Noureddine FEKIR University of Carthage,


Poetry has always been the tool of resistance for writers who seek to assert the voice of freedom against those who attempt to deny it to human beings. Its brevity and concise nature have often been associated with the sharp and surprising effect of weapons. In this paper I argue that of all genres, (resistance) poetry is the one that subversively grants a license to itself, that licenses itself and takes liberties for the defense of liberty. It is constantly preoccupied with innovative ways for infringing the seemingly rigid rules set up by despotic power. The liberties that a poet takes in recreating language, in transforming it from within, and the poetic licenses which are taken in defiance of the conventions of verse writing must be seen as emblematic of the essence of resistance poetry in particular and poetry in general which by nature is based on challenging all norms and standards. Resistance poets and the so-called poets of witness have therefore always associated their aesthetic modes with these liberties which they take at the level of diction, grammar and logic, a gesture which hints to how language must be radically changed or per(sub)verted in order to alter the vision of people with a view to liberating them at a subsequent stage. Poetry then offers the best pedagogy of revolt, one that drives forward the people in their rhythmic march towards what Jacques Derrida calls the ‘arrivant’ or the different future. I will take the liberty in this paper to start with license and end it with liberty or freedom or emancipation. This is because aesthetics and politics can never be split.
Keywords: Liberties, Pedagogy, writers